Al­bion kitchen

Unique Cars - - MORLEY’S WORKSHOP -

I used to tour t he sout h Is­land of New Zealand in t he late 70s, wit h a bunch of cra z y Ki­wis in an old Al­bion Bus. We of­ten used the en­gine com­part­ment as a cooker, as it was easy to ac­cess from in­side t he cabin. One of the guys was a trained chef and he could do a f ull roast, wit hout a trace of diesel f umes. Though we’d only use it if we were in a hurr y, which was rare and it mainly got used to f lash cure our “herba l to­bacco” as we trun­dled around the sha k y isles. Ah, mem­o­ries... I t hink I’m for­tu­nate to still have them! Gary G Smith Raven­shoe, QLD

I’VE HEARD lots of yarns of meals be­ing pre­pared on a hot car or truck man­i­fold over the years. But I’ve never heard of a full-on Sun­day roast be­ing pre­pared on a bus diesel. Maybe it wasn’t Sun­day, but from the sounds of things, you and your Kiwi mates prob­a­bly didn’t know what day it was for much of

“ANY­THING WITH A PULSE WOULD HAVE BEEN EVAC­U­ATED TO A CRI­SIS ASSEM­BLY FA­CIL­ITY”

the time. I’d be in­ter­ested to know a bit more, as I reckon a fumy, oil-cov­ered old diesel en­gine would be cer­tain to im­part a bit of its own – um – flavour to the fin­ished prod­uct. Maybe a cheeky lit­tle 20W50 jus?

I tried it once, but only to heat up a can of baked beans for brekkie toast some­where up in the high coun­try. It was a Pa­jero diesel and I re­mem­ber think­ing the hot-run­ning turbo was the au­to­mo­tive chef’s ver­sion of a mi­crowave. I also re­mem­ber I had to drive it around in cir­cles a few times to get some heat into the turbo hous­ing while try­ing not to cre­ate so much cen­trifu­gal force that the beans made a leap for free­dom.

There’s bound to be a bit more to this. Any­body else got some tips? And let’s face it, if celebrity chefs can make big dol­lars scream­ing at hap­less am­a­teurs in iffy TV shows, there’s got to be a book in en­gine-bay gas­tron­omy, yeah?

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